Scythe Mugen Max CPU Cooler Review. Today we explore our first Scythe product, the company ought not to need any introduction. If you’re not familiar they’ve been in business since 2002, and have released some fantastic products. The model we’re looking at today is an enhanced version of the Mugen 4, borrowing lots of features and expanding upon them, to produce their current top tiered product for enthusiasts. The Scythe Mugen Max has a price tag of just £40 on the day or review.
Should be a good one right? Let’s find out…
Scythe Mugen Max – Features and Specifications
Mugen MAX CPU Cooler
- Socket LGA775
- Socket LGA1150
- Socket LGA1155
- Socket LGA1156
- Socket LGA1366
- Socket LGA2011 / 2011-v3 (Square ILM)
- Socket AM2
- Socket AM2+
- Socket AM3
- Socket AM3+
- Socket FM1
- Socket FM2
- Socket FM2+
Please note that for mounting on motherboards with the AMD-Socket, the original back plate of the motherboard will be necessary. Please confirm if it is on hand prior to your purchase.
145 x 86 x 161 mm / 5.71 x 3.39 x 6.34 in (w/o fan)
720 g / 25.40 oz (heatsink only)
Nickel-plated copper (additional information)
GlideStream 140 PWM
140 x 140 x 25 mm / 5.51 x 5.51 x 0.98 in
13 ~ 30.7 dBA
63,5 ~ 165m³/h / 37.37 ~ 97.18 CFM
500 rpm (± 300) ~ 1.300 rpm (±10%) (PWM-regulated)
0.15 ～ 1.02 mmH2O / 1,47 ～ 10,0 Pa
Courtesy of Scythe for more information please visit the Product page
The box style Scythe have used is bold, the combination of white and orange works well, neither is overdone. From the front we see a clear image of the product, around the sides and back we find key specifications and features
The Accessory kit is very robust and offers additional brackets for another fan
2x mounting plate (Intel)
2xmounting plate (AMD)
1x mounting bar
4x screw for mounting plates
8x stud nuts
2x mounting screws
1x spacer (socket 775)
4x fan clips
My single complaint would be the thermal grease being packaged the way it is. I’ve become used to syringe types.
The product name is fitting because this things appears HUGE! Thing is though, after looking at the measurements, it’s actually shorter and thinner than you would expect, which is baffling! The MAX stands at 161mm in height, it’s not the largest we’ve seen but it came close and for this reason you must check if you have enough clearance in your case. Width is 145mm again, not the biggest and should pose no issue. Depth of the max is just 86mm (without fan) and 111mm with.
There isn’t ever much to say about tower heat sinks, sometimes we will find the odd cosmetic tweak here and there, perhaps a spot of colour. Here on the Mugen max though, nothing of significance to mention. A very subtle logo is found on the top, and above it a hole, which will prove vital during the install later.
Flipping the heatsink over, we find that Scythe has fitted a total of 12 heatpipes, each 6mm thick. To compensate and improve ram compatibility, one side is asymmetrical and slightly offset, allowing ram to sit under. A welcome addition is the highly polished, mirror finish base.The included fan is 140mm, ensuring it covers as much area of the massive cooler, as possible. As always I’m skeptical about the claimed operating figures. Which are listed as 13 ~ 30.7 dBA. As usual I must point out these numbers are taken in a noise-controlled environment, and in a real world setup we’re not likely to see this replicated.
Our first experience with a Scythe product, so I had no idea what to expect. Thankfully they use a simple mount system. The universal back plate fits from the backside, no spacer, add-ons or such to apply. Just drop it on and turn the board over, washers and bolts are fitted to secure it.
Next we fit the main mounting arms, and secure them with the four included screws.
Now this next step should be simple but that will depend on you having a very long screwdriver or not. If you don’t you’ll need to use the included mini wrench, while it works fine, its slow and annoying. Remember the hole in the top I mentioned earlier? Well if you have a very long screwdriver to hand, then you can use that instead, to secure the main mount to the arms at either side.
Any sized screwdriver is fine for the opposite side, as the mount is offset and can be accessed with ease
Clearance and observations
Not all coolers offer great ram compatibility, often comprises are made. With the MAX we did expect some problems because of its size. To our delight, we found none but it was very close!
If you do have larger than average RAM modules, then the MAX will allow you to move the fan up, higher than the default center position, granting your more room underneath it.
*TECHICIZE TEST SYSTEM*
Proudly Powered by our Dimastech Mini V1.0 Test Bench
Intel® i5 4670K
|Memory:||Kingston HyperX Beast 2400Mhz 8GB|
|Motherboard:||MSI Z97 GAMING 7|
|Video Card:||MSI Radeon 270X Gaming|
SSD – Kingston HyperX 3k 240GB
M.2 -Kingston M.2
|OS:||Windows 8.1 64-Bit|
CPU coolers and the test method is an area that causes much confusion and debate. We should point out that many sites test in different ways, the majority share the same core idea that a simple math equation should be used. So that a consistent value can be recorded and re-used against more products
This simple equation of [recorded result] [minus] [ambient room temperature] = Delta
This test method simply means no matter how warm or cool the testing room is, the data is comparable. There will always be a degree of error in such testing. There are so many variables such airflow, testing location and such. So we perform all our testing on the same hardware and in the same location.
- Our procedure is to fit the cooler and allow a 24 hour period before any testing, allowing the thermal paste to settle. The system is booted and allowed to sit idle for 15 minutes. We take our first recording. Then using a selection of software forcing the CPU to run at 100% load. We then take our load temperatures.
- This process is repeated 3 times and the results are converted to an average.
- We provide delta temperature [Load temperatures minus ambient room temperature].
- This allows us to provide consistent results no matter the room temperature.
Many factors can skew results and to ensure accuracy we repeat all of the above three further times. Including refitting the cooler, this compensates for factors such as burn in time, amount of thermal paste and such.
* Our test CPU is ran at default clocks and voltage for stock testing. For overclocking it’s not the best around and requires 1.375 volts to operate at 4.6 GHz. All results shown are at these settings unless otherwise stated*
To keep things neat and easier to read, we no longer provide idle or ambient numbers, just solely load delta results.
I must point out that we do not manipulate and force the fan to run at 100%, it is something we had considered in the past and if we had done, most of the products in the chart would appear to have better results.
However what we present is a fair representation of how a product will perform out of the box. With this in mind what we tend to find, in our stock testing is that the fan does not always hit 100%.
That’s exactly what happened today with the Scythe Mugen MAX, peaking at just 61c, which gives us a delta of 35c. The fan omitted nothing more than a gentle hum, each motherboard has their own way to handle PWM fans, from bios to software and you can configure a fan curve that is more aggressive if you wished.
We have a baseline noise level of 30db, due to environment factors and such we cannot measure anything less. We measured a peak of 32db in this portion of our testing.
The test that matters more for a product of this nature, aimed at enthusiasts we applied a heavy overclocked, which requires lots of vcore. Thermally the results are spectacular! Right up their with some of the much more expensive products. The product does however have a drawback, in terms of noise levels peaking at over 40db, it’s just not in the same league as the more premium products elsewhere, for low noise.
I was very keen to review the Scythe Mugen MAX, I’ve very familiar with the brands offerings but this was my first hands-on experience, with any of their products. I can say with confidence that it’s worth every penny. From my first look at the main product package, right through to install and testing the MAX delivered the goods with no single issue to mention. More often than not, that does not happen….I have literally no issues to mention, I must reaffirm the product height and it’s vital you measure before purchasing!
Thermal and acoustic performance was solid and consistent. As I said earlier, on a stock setup, you may want to push the fan a little harder, because out of the box it’s a little bit too relaxed. On the flip side with a heavy overclock applied, the product can certainly tame the heat, but you might want to restrict the fan to about 90% to keep noise in check.
Well Worthy of our Gold Award
We would like to thank Scythe for sending the sample out for review. We look forward to seeing more from them, in the near future.